What started out as a pump audit ended up being a job that required all the technical mastery of the Grundfos engineers in Holland.
When the Schiphol Group contacted Grundfos in 2009, the task was to carry out a general pump audit on an outdated booster set in the airport. The goal was to find out how to save energy and money on the particular installation. It quickly became clear however, that the actual challenge at hand was to split the single booster system into two and size them with greater accuracy.
Erik Tijssen, Application Engineer at Grundfos, Holland, explains: “Schiphol had two connected systems behind one booster. There was one system for the cooling towers on the roof and one system that supplied drinking water to the seven office floors of the airport. The airport wanted to separate the two systems, but they did not know what the demand was on either system and therefore the most energy efficient solution”.
In order to find out what the precise demand was on each of the connected systems, the Grundfos team carried out two separate measurements of the systems at the exact same time of day over a period of nine days. The outcome was a detailed report that provided an in-depth and accurate description of the particular sizing requirements for each of the new boosters.
“The key was to take detailed measurements that resulted in the right number of pumps that deliver just what they need – no more and no less,” says Erik Tijssen. Instead of one big inefficient system the airport now has two smaller, extremely efficient booster systems.
Erik Tijssen continues: “Customers need to think of it like this: It is not about replacing the single inefficient pump that you know is not working at its best. You have to think about the whole system that the pump is a part of and what the development has been in the pump area since that system was installed. Not that many years ago, consulting engineers dimensioned pumps on the basis of some rules of thumb that are outdated now.
That’s why a lot of systems in commercial buildings run with greatly over-dimensioned pumps, and that means large energy bills and bad news for the environment. Today, a pump audit reveals exactly what the system needs in order to run smoothly at the lowest possible pressure point, and our speed controlled pumps help make energy efficiency effortless to accomplish. So if you allow us to measure the system, you can gain full understanding of your needs.”